How the week ahead lays out on your sports calendar:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
MLB ALL-STAR GAME from CitiField in New York, 5 p.m. Tuesday, Channel 11:
Mike Trout is in the AL starting lineup, and at some point, may even face off against Clayton Kershaw coming out of the NL bullpen.
Otherwise, what will compel an L.A. viewer to invest any time in tuning into some star power offered in the 84th edition of this non-exhibition game from the Mets’ home dominion?
Seeing Mariano Rivera trot out of the AL pen one last time, to the roar of the New York crowd?
Waiting for Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez to come off the bench and join Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez and St. Louis’ Carlos Beltran in an “all-Carlos” NL outfield?
Trying to guess which teams Justin Masterson, Brett Cecil, Jason Castro, Salvador Perez, Glen Perkins, Jesse Crain, Steve Delabar, Jose Fernandez, Jeff Locke, Pedro Alvarez, Matt Carpenter or Jean Segura play for? You sure we didn’t stumble into an MLS All-Star festival?
Also: Home Run Derby contest, 5 p.m., Monday, ESPN.
BEST OF THE REST
NBA SUMMER LEAGUE:
LAKERS vs. CLIPPERS in Las Vegas, 5 p.m., TWC SportsNet, Prime:
If only Chris Kaman was around to join the Lakers squad now.
Also: Lakers vs. Portland, 8 p.m. Sunday, TWC Sports Net (tape delayed).
DOCUMENTARY: “The Crash Reel,” 9 p.m., HBO:
A selection at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival as well as the recent L.A. Film Festival, the story about snowboard champion Kevin Pearce’s recovery from a traumatic brain injury by two-time Oscar nominee Lucy Walker underscores the craziness of extreme sports.
CONCACAF Gold Cup, first round: U.S. vs. Costa Rica, at Hartford, Conn., 5 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel:
Costa Rica should put up a better challenge than Belize or Cuba, sitting second behind the U.S. in the World Cup qualifying Hexagonal and perfect after two games of this tournament. Quarterfinals begin Saturday in Atlanta and Sunday in Baltimore.
The 21st annual ESPY AWARDS, 6 p.m., ESPN:
Actor Jon Hamm (no relation to Mia) has drawn the short straw to pretend to host this annual “awards” show at the Nokia Theatre in L.A. Live, with the trick being how many Aaron Hernandez jokes can be worked into the opening monologue. If you’re going to watch, at least pay respects to see former ESPN SportsCenter anchor Robin Roberts as she’s given the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. It’s not too late to get into this faux event either: Face value for the tickets on AXS.com ranged from $75 to $425, but they’re going for much more on the secondary market for some reason.
TRIPLE-A ALL-STAR GAME, from Reno, Nev., 6 p.m., MLB Network:
In last year’s game between the best of the Pacific Coast League and the International League in Buffalo, Mets pitching prospect Matt Harvey, a member of the home Buffalo squad, didn’t even get the start (it was given to the Phillies’ Tyler Cloyd). Harvey did pitch two shutout innings, striking out two. One year later …
GOLF: The 142nd OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP at Muirfield in East Lothian, Scotland, first round, 4 a.m., ESPN:
Link the dots here: Do the Links at Muirfield give Tiger Woods the best shot at capturing a major this year – No. 15 in his career – even though he finished tied for 28th on the same course during the 2002 British Open? He did shoot a 65 in the final round that year after a horrendous 81 in the third round when the conditions were smarmy. The three-time British Open winner (2000, ’05, ’06) has had a lot happen to him since then. Seeking his first major since the U.S. Open in ’08, Woods has been given 7-to-1 favorite odds by Golfodds.com and 6-to-1 by Bovada in Las Vegas. So how again is that injured elbow that caused him to skip the last month? Others say the conversion rate is better in banking with Graeme McDowell, who just recently won the French Open after missing the cut at the Masters, Players Championship, U.S. Open and the Irish Open, but skipped last week’s Scottish Open. “In this summer of parity, I’m not sure anybody qualifies as the Open favorite,” said Gary Van Sickle, a Sports Illustrated senior writer, on Golf.com. “G-Mac is as good as any at this point. He’s among a posse of favorites.”
ESPN is on the air at 4 a.m. for the first three rounds and 5 a.m. for Sunday’s final round. Channel 7 has a three-hour highlight package at noon on Saturday and Sunday.
WNBA: SPARKS vs. PHOENIX, Staples Center, 7 p.m., ESPN2:
Your first chance in person to see Brittney Griner dunk. On the Sparks’ defense. Multiple times perhaps.
Sparks vs. Atlanta, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, TWC SportsNet
Sparks at Seattle, 7 p.m. Saturday
MLB: DODGERS at WASHINGTON, 4 p.m., Prime:
After that stretch of feasting on the NL West, the Dodgers won’t see a divisional opponent again until the end of August. Bryce Harper is just content in the fact his face won’t meet the screen fence connected to the Dodger Stadium right-field wall any time soon.
The series continues:
Saturday, 4 p.m., Prime
Sunday, 10:30 p.m., Channel 9
MLB: ANGELS vs. OAKLAND, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., FSW:
Bartolo Colon, 12-3 overall, 8-1 since turning 40 (the number on his jersey) on May 24, listed as 260 pounds but closer to 300, is the only pitcher in major-league history to win each of the first seven starts he made in his 40s, according to the record books. What’s happened to the only member of the A’s to make the AL All-Star team since he was last with the Angels in 2007, two years removed from a Cy Young season of 21-8 with a 3.48 ERA and 3.7 WAR? The same guy who failed a drug test last summer, served a 50-game suspension and is linked to the latest Biogenesis investigation and is somehow benefitting from some stem cell research?
The series continues:
Saturday, 6:05 p.m., FSW
Sunday, 12:35 p.m., FSW
MLS: GALAXY vs. SEATTLE, StubHub Center, 7:30 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
If the playoffs started today — and don’t you wish they did? — the Galaxy (9-8-3) would barely make it in. The Sounders (7-7-3), however …
TOUR DE FRANCE, Final stage 21, 8:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network:
England’s Chris Froome seems to leave no doubt he’ll be the first one to reach the podium at the Champs-Elysees. “Froome would have to crash, suffer some other mishap or get sick and melt down on the towering Mont Ventoux and in the Alps next week for his rivals to catch him,” came one of the latest Associated Press accounts. Two-time champion Alberto Contador remains among those still in the chase. “No one’s won the Tour de France yet and no one’s lost it. We have to get to Paris yet,” Contador said, perhaps more in hope than conviction. “Chris Froome is in impressive form and is a great climber, but there are still many stages left.”